||Spring 2019 Baltimore U.S. Coins Auction
||Choice 1787 Miller 16.1-m
The Henry Miller Plate
1787 Connecticut Copper. Miller 16.1-m, W-3000. Rarity-5. Draped Bust Left. AU-55 (PCGS).
142.1 grains. A lovely specimen of this variety, featuring deep chestnut brown surfaces that still exhibit traces of luster. There are no marks worthy of mention, the generally smooth texture marred only by a few small, natural planchet flaws. On the obverse these are primarily near the jaw and above the head, while the most notable one on the reverse aligns nicely with the lower pole. Well centered, indeed, nearly perfectly so, with full legends and complete date digits. Struck from later state dies, with gentle buckling in the field left of the effigy, die sinking evident around the truncation and flowlines in the fields. The only public auction appearance of this piece we are aware of is the 1975 Pine Tree EAC sale, where the Q. David Bowers Collection was offered. Therein, Walter Breen called this the finest known at the time, comparing it to two other specimens, one from a Lester Merkin sale, and the other from New Netherlands #60. We have not seen a finer one in recent times. The offered example is finer than the Taylor, Oechsner, Ford, Collection SLT, Newman and Canfield coins, the latter the finest in the ANS holdings. It is seemingly comparable to Perkins (called by Michael Hodder “one of the finest known”), though that coin was scratched and imperfectly centered. Breen also noted in 1975 that this was probably Henry Miller’s own coin, pointing to the handwriting of the black ink attribution on the face. That attribution number is visible in the 1975 plate, but has largely been removed since, with only minor traces visible if one knows to look.
Provenance: From the Twin Leaf Collection of Connecticut & Massachusetts Coppers. Probably earlier ex Henry C. Miller; unrecorded intermediaries; Q. David Bowers, Pine Tree’s 1975 EAC Sale, February 1975:100; unrecorded intermediaries; Anthony Terranova, August 2015.
Click here for certification details from PCGS.